released 10 december 368 pages | Paperback/ebook Author anna sheehan Publisher Gollancz
Happily ever after is all very well. But what happens after the princess awakes and the storytellers head home?
The kingdom of Lyndaria is struggling. After the hundredyear “interregnum” the economy is ruined, the land is still beholden to a greedy king and the killer thorns around the palace are not any friendlier now the princess is awake. Sleeping Beauty is married with two children, but younger daughter Willow (“Will”) is not a happy royal: ungainly, in love with her sister’s fiancé and practising magic in a country still suspicious of it. Searching for spells, she meets a fellow magician, who she thinks of as “Reynard”, but who’s actually a Nameless faerie, persecuted and homeless and blaming the royals for all the hardships his family has endured.
Slow to start but quickly captivating, this beyond-thefairytale romance features two people both unhappy but still dedicated to something more than themselves. And while Reynard’s rage against Will and her family never quite feels as passionate as it’s described, their developing friendship feels sweet and raw and real. There’s nothing startlingly new and original here, but there’s a compelling fairytale for those who like to peek beyond the ever after. Rhian Drinkwater